CineAsia to Honor Writer-Director Xue as 'Emerging Talent'

Directed This Year's Jet Li Vehicle 'Ocean's Heaven'

HONG KONG -- Xue Xiaolu, the award-winning Chinese screenwriter-turned-director, will receive the inaugural “Emerging Talent of the Year” prize at the annual distributors and exhibitors trade show CineAsia on Thursday evening.

Xue’s directorial debut Ocean’s Heaven, starring Jet Li as a terminally ill father trying to find care for his autistic son opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

The film grew out of confidence she gained in winning a scriptwriting competition supported by the Motion Picture Association in 2006.

“Xiaolu is a fine example of the upcoming Chinese screenwriters and directors who are taking center stage in the development of the country’s burgeoning film industry,” said Mike Ellis, Asia Pacific president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association. “We at MPA are especially proud of Xiaolu and of having a special connection with her. We are happy to be here to celebrate her success.”

Ocean’s Heaven, which Xue wrote and directed, won critical acclaim, stems from personal experiences as a volunteer working with autistic children in China since 1994 with the Starry Rain national network of parents of autistic children.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” Xue said. “I would like to thank CineAsia for the recognition and MPA for their support for young, upcoming filmmakers in the region. Such strong encouragement makes filmmaking an even greater joy.”

Adding that she’s very satisfied to see her film has raised public awareness of autism, Xue added: “Like my volunteer work, I hope that through a little effort we can work together to make a life-lasting difference for the children touched by this condition” 

“It is a great honor to salute Ms. Xue as a unique artist whose broad range of talents deserve both acclaim and recognition. We are pleased to recognize Ms. Xue when she is expanding her creative work horizon to include directing and we look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.”

Xue is currently an associate professor with the Film Literature Department of the Beijing Film Academy and also belongs to several prestigious artists’ associations, including the Chinese Writers’ Association, Chinese Film Artists Association and Chinese TV Artists Association.

Before directing, Xue wrote a large number of film and television drama scripts, including nine films which have been theatrically released and more than 180 TV drama episodes, as well as numerous documentaries and novels. Many of her works have won international prizes and national awards, CineAsia said.

Now in its 16th year, CineAsia closes Thursday night after being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from December 7–9.

CineAsia is owned by Prometheus Media, owner of The Hollywood Reporter.